To make his “Quilt Paintings” in 2007 and 2008, New York–based artist Mike Cloud sewed constellations of new children’s clothes (sometimes with the tags still attached) to canvas, then added painted words and images. Stuffed with foam or stretched over starbursts of stretcher bars, these exuberant works combine bold T-shirt graphics with brushy renderings of rabbits and snowmen, and cheerful colors with ambiguous connotations.
In one of these boldly composed color photographs by Elle Pérez—whose interest is in “the erotics of underground communities and the possibilities inherent to marginal spaces and identities”—the subject leans into the camera, his lower body wrapped in a towel, his hair wet, his smile enigmatic, and his torso bearing the scars of top surgery. Elsewhere, bodies both desired and desiring are fragmented, obscured, or simply implied, as in a still life of a stretched-out elastic chest binder drying on a hanger.
Form and meaning converge in Kay Rosen’s word-based art, which of late has become more overtly political. This exhibition shows her corralling letterforms and language into protest signs for our times. Referring to the Republicans’ decades-long battle for tax cuts for the rich, the wall painting Trickle Down (2016–2018) starts with “TRICK” on one line, with the rest of the phrase stacked below it; elsewhere, the title of the mural-sized White House v. America (2018) is shortened to a giant “WHvAM.”
Despite being one of the most significant Latin American artists of the twentieth century, Tarsila do Amaral (1886–1973) is not well known in the United States. The first exhibition of her work in a US museum, this show focuses on the 1920s, when the young Brazilian artist returned to São Paulo after studying in Europe and being exposed to art movements like Cubism, Futurism, and Expressionism. Along with other avant-garde artists and writers, including her husband, the poet Oswald de Andrade, do Amaral promoted modernism in Brazil and helped create an art scene that drew on contemporary European developments while honoring indigenous Brazilian culture and style.
This exhibition is a vivid reminder that the decade marking the end of the Weimar Republic not only fostered hyperinflation, unemployment, foreign profiteering, nativism, kitsch art, militarism, and anti-Semitism—culminating in the triumph of the Nazi Party and the launch of World War II—but also sustained a highly cosmopolitan, often Expressionistic avant-garde. Featuring work by more than a score of artists like Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Oskar Kokoschka, and August Sander, the show is curated by Olaf Peters, who also organized the Neue Galerie’s 2014 “Degenerate Art” exhibition, examining the derisive treatment to which Hitler’s regime subjected progressive artists from 1937 onward.
An iconic representation of the American landscape, View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, After a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow (1836) is Thomas Cole’s masterpiece, a monumental evocation of the tension between wilderness and civilization. This focused exhibition establishes an international context for Cole’s quintessentially American artwork, comparing it to paintings and prints by English artists including J.M.W. Turner and John Constable. In addition to offering a selection of Cole’s paintings, prints, and watercolors from the first half of the nineteenth century, the show assesses his influence through comparisons to the later work of Asher B. Durand and Frederic E. Church.
Subtle, unsettling investigations into the ways in which objects can be transformed by context—and the construction of the context itself—are the hallmarks of Carissa Rodriguez’s photos, paintings, videos, and installations. The New York–based artist has shown infrequently in her home city, where her only previous solo was a quiet affair in a midtown art advisory in 2013. Rodriguez’s exhibition in the spacious main gallery of SculptureCenter extends her inquiry into appropriation with new video and photographic works exploring the legal and scientific frameworks in which information—whether biological or artificial—is copied.
“Ian Cooper: Saved”
At Downstairs Projects, founded by artists Ruby Sky Stiler and Daniel Gordon, Ian Cooper offers beautifully made, cartoonish sculptures of giant pieces of paper and pencils, with a focus on visibility, masculinity, and—perhaps—redemption.
By appointment at email@example.com
Philippe Verne recommends three shows in Los Angeles
“I love it when I go to an exhibition and see art I don’t know and maybe don’t even understand.”
Hammer chief curator Connie Butler on shows in Los Angeles [Published 2017/12/12]
“The first show I would recommend would be “Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990s Mexico,” which covers a really important moment in the history of Mexican contemporary art.”
Artist Tala Madani on the shows she’s looking forward to in L.A. [Published 2017/09/19]
“Because of Pacific Standard Time, it’s going to be a really exciting art season in Los Angeles.”
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